Understanding the Quaker Meeting Notes

The West side of my family were involved with the Quaker Society of Friends. Luckily for me, there are tons of preserved and transcribed meeting notes from all those meetings, with notes and records of my ancestors participation.

Unfortunately for me, the shorthand, jargon, and abbreviations used in the Quaker meeting notes are like reading some kind of code.

1840, 12, 12 Levi appt to comm
1843, 1, 9 Nathaniel compl against na, dp, mcd
1845, 4, 9 Benjamin rocf Norwhich MM, Canada
1847, 11, 3 Ira compl against for na, upl

What does this mean?

I found some resources to help translate this abbreviated shorthand and it translates to:

December 12, 1840 Levi was appointed to committee.
September 1, 1843 A complaint was made against Nathaniel for not attending meetings, dropped plain dress and/or speech, and marrying contrary to discipline.
September 4, 1845 Benjamin received on certificate from Norwich Monthly Meeting, Canada
March 11, 1847 A complaint was made against Ira for not attending meetings and using profane language

Now it makes more sense. Well, not really. I now know what the terms means, but there is still more to learn about the Quaker’s practices.

The following resourced helped me to translate the Quaker notes. Not one single resource gave me all the answers. I had to go through several to find the definitions for most of the words. Even then, not all of the words I’m trying to identify are listed.

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Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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